Trade Tensions Weigh on Crude Prices

08 April, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Crude Oil Prices Forecast: Mixed Technical Picture

Data from the American Petroleum Institute yesterday was mixed, though it said crude inventories had fallen by 3.28m last week, which was better than expected.

Even after crude was propped up in February by rising geopolitical risks surrounding the U.S. and Middle East producer Iran, it's still struggling to recover to the highs of January, with concerns over a global trade war also weighing on prices.

Futures gained as much as 0.7 percent in NY.

In New York, US light prices were down by $0.47 at $63.04 per barrel in mid-day trading.

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Nymex May oil futures ended USD1.48 lower at USD63.54 a barrel, down 2.3%.

Hitting back on the Trump administration's plan to levy tariffs on $50 billion-worth of its goods, China proposed duties on United States imports including soybeans, aircraft, cars and chemicals.

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery climbed as much as 42 cents to $63.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $63.59 at 7:34 a.m.in London.

After the Easter break, oil prices started the week on a weaker note as geopolitical development exacerbated operational concerns.

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But BNP's Mr. Tchilinguirian said the oil market may likely "look past" any inventory data until the implications of the U.S.

Oil also got support from firm global equities, as the United States expressed willingness to negotiate a resolution on trade after proposed USA tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods prompted a quick response from Beijing that it would retaliate by targeting key American imports.

Lending some price support to oil was a comment on Tuesday by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, referring to earlier comments by Saudi Arabia that talks were taking place on a long-term market co-operation deal between Opec and non-Opec producers led by Russia.

The API report also showed a build for gasoline for the week-ending March 30 of 1.123 million in gasoline stockpiles.

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Oil prices fell on Wednesday after China said it would impose tariffs on a number of US goods including agricultural products, raising the prospect of a growing trade war that could impact global growth.

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